Review: Kona Bistro, Restaurant Week
In case you didn’t know, this week is the Greater Cincinnati Independents‘ restaurant week. A selection of restaurants price a 3-course meal at 25.08. The restaurants range from a couple of Jean-Robert properties, to Hugo, to the Boathouse– the list goes on.
On Monday, we decided to try Kona Bistro. Terry and I had both been there before– he once, I had been twice– and settled in for some great food at a great price.
It was not to be.
I know that Anthony Bourdain insists that you not go to restaurants on Monday night. I should have cooked, or something, and tried Kona on Tuesday.. or even tonight. Anthony, I will never ignore your words again.
Unlike a lot of the restaurants, the only choice in courses was in the entree. The first course was a spring mix salad with butternut squash, candied walnuts, red onions and warm herbed goat cheese. The warm herbed goat cheese was great, as were the walnuts and the vinaigrette, but the squash was boiled, cold and unseasoned and added nothing to the dish but an unpleasant clamminess– not in flavor, of course, but texture. Disappointing.
I was going to order the espresso crusted pork loin, but they were out of it– I guess they didn’t plan for a lot of people on Monday night (there were maybe 4 tables occupied at 8:30). I ended up with the sun-dried tomato polenta with ratatouille and garlicky spinach.
The polenta was nice, but the ratatouille was undercooked, which made for an unpleasant texture. The garlicky spinach was just that– really, really overpoweringly garlicky. The dish ended up being simply average.
Terry selected the salmon, which has a much better crust than that of the tilapia from Blackfinn’s. The salmon itself, though, was a touch overdone and a touch overfrozen. The mashed potatoes were adequate, but I guess I’d spoiled him the night before with my mashed potatoes. Oops. Again, a very average dish.
Dessert was a fudge brownie with espresso-scented whipped cream. The brownies were again, average– they needed some frosting or something. The whipped cream was the best part– just a hint of espresso.
I know that Kona can do better– I’ve had better food there somewhat recently. If they skimped because it was a discounted meal, then this is a bad sign– Restaurant Week is supposed to draw in customers who might not normally go to these restaurants, and if I were one of these customers, I’d be disappointed. I’m going to try them out again sometime in the next couple of weeks to see if this was an isolated incident.
Hopefully, other restaurant week specials will be better! Which restaurants have you visited?